guide dogs

Guide Dogs, meeting my first dog

Happy Friday bookish people! I hope you are all having a good day today.

Today I am talking about the next step in the Guide Dog process where I finally got to walk with an actual dog.

It might sound silly, especially when I am talking about waiting for a guide dog, but I never particularly wanted a dog. I love animals of course but usually just to look at, dogs can be very quick and loud and unpredictable and having limited sight makes it a really difficult experience to be around dogs. So, honestly I was pretty worried about having to interact with an actual dog.

My first meeting was with a yellow Labrador called Jojo and she was a beautiful dog. She bounded into my house as soon as the door was open. It was an interesting experience because I wasn’t sure how I would react around the dog and her being in my house to start with, as this meeting also included answering questions although these were more like how do you think you will work with the dog and are there any barriers to you being able to look after the dog. While we were having our chat, Jojo was entertaining herself and sniffing around everywhere, giving my hands and legs a good lick where she could.

The next thing that happened was Jojo was put back in the car while the woman from Guide Dogs and I practiced a walk with her holding the harness to see if – relying only on what I could feel – I could follow the movement in the harness. So, she was holding the harness at the level that a dog would be at and while doing this she was teaching me the positions I would be using for my feet, hand gestures and the words I would say to the dog when we were walking. This actually didn’t feel as ridiculous as I thought it would, you become so focused on learning what they are teaching you, you forget that there’s no dog in the harness yet.

Then when we got back to my house it was time for me to walk with Jojo. I’ve had a cane for a couple of years now, long enough I don’t remember when I first got one, and it was strange to be going out without it. It’s almost like leaving my comfort behind. There’s really a lot to learn all at once, like how you have to hold the harness, feet positions, looking up but knowing to look out for signals from the dog as well. It was a lot. But what surprised me the most was the feeling that came over me during the walk. It was honestly like I had found something I had been missing for years. Like if they took the dog from me then in that moment I wouldn’t know how to go back to the cane again, it would be too uncomfortable. It was a really emotional experience to realize that this was exactly what I needed and there was no way for me to explain that to someone else unless they were going through the same experience I was, and I don’t know any other visually impaired people at the moment. It shocked me and after the dog had left for the day I missed it, I missed the feeling of protection and freedom it gave me. It felt right for me.

This decision went to panel the week after. It was terrifying waiting for those unknown people to again be deciding my future, especially because this time I knew what it felt like to have that help even if it was only for a short walk. Thankfully, they decided in my favour and I was officially put on the guide dog waiting list.

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Chopped: Romantic Dinner Readathon!

Happy Friday bookish people! Today I am bringing you something extremely exciting. Earlier this month I teamed up with @Plaid_Reader is writing on Twitter to create a readathon. This readathon is based off the TV show Chopped and we have created book prompts to match different items of food and drink that could be found at a romantic dinner. The point of the readathon is to choose prompts by picking foods that you would have at your dinner. The readathon will run from February 1st – February 28th with a celebration on March 1st.

The Rounds

Like the real show the readathon will be broken into three rounds: Appetiser, Entree and dessert. You are welcome to take the rounds in whichever order you like but we have built them so the prompts get tougher as you go along.

Appetizers
1) Pizza
2) Strawberry
3) Milkshake
4) Leftovers
Entree
1) Steak and Lobster
2) Edible Glitter
3) Spaghetti
4) Dark Chocolate Truffles
Dessert
1) Champagne
2) Ring Pops
3) Baked Alaska
4) Yuzu

The Prompts 

The Prompts 
SpaghettiGood Friendships or Multiple Points of View
ChampagneA Protagonist with Anxiety
Steak and LobsterAn expensive book or one that looks fancy
Ring PopsA book where someone gets married or a wedding shapes the plot.
YuzuA book with a sweet and tart protagonist.
Dark Chocolate TrufflesA book from a ‘darker’ genre horror, mystery, thriller.
LeftoversA book you started but didn’t finish
Baked AlaskaA book with a surprise
Edible GlitterA book about magic or a fantasy
MilkshakeTwo people must go on a quest
PizzaA comfort read
StrawberryRed Cover

The Reading:

We will be counting the pages that you (and we) are reading so make sure to enter the pages you read each day and make note when you finish each book. There will also be some cute prizes along the way…but remember everyone is a champion no matter how many pages or books you read.

The Points and prizes

Everyone will get a prize for participating but the top 3 readers may get a special prize. There will be two top winners, one from the US and one International, we will be doing a random draw for both. The US winner will receive a signed copy of A Place At The Table by Laura Shovan and Saadia Faruqi. The International winner will get £20 in Book Depository credit as long as it ships to your country.

Here is a link to the announcement video :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NK_btUJHPI

And if you have any questions leave a comment below or contact me on Twitter at @oliviatempleto6 or my co-host at @Plaid_Reader is writing. All of this information and the sign up form is on the Chopped Readathon Twitter: https://twitter.com/choppedread

Also, we would love to see your TBR’s for this readathon!

friday first and lasts

Friday First and Lasts Round 2

Happy Friday bookish people! Today I am bringing you the second round of my newest series Friday First and Lasts. The series in which I take the first sentence of one book and combine it with the last series of another book to see what we get.

For this round I will be giving you three sets of first and lasts, the books up first are:

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik and Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T A Willberg

“I decided that Orion Lake needed to die after the second time he saved my life/ however long it took” – This sentence actually turned out really well. It creates a very dramatic line.

Up next are the books:

Capturing The Devil by Kerri Maniscalco and Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

“A blast of frigid air greeted me as I unlatched the carriage door and stumbled onto the street/filled with thoughtless joy I turned Priestbane to follow” – this one doesn’t work quite as well as the first set, but it still works and has a good flow to it.

The final set for today are from the books:

The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict and The Gilded Cage by Lynette Noni

“Snow is falling/and then she would be dead” – This is the one that probably works the least out of the three sets but it has an intense and sinister ring to it that I quite like.

That’s it for today, I hope you all enjoyed it! If you’ve got any good ones, please leave them in the comments below, on my Instagram @the_blind_scribe or on Twitter @oliviatempleto6.